John Harbaugh Reflects on Passing of John Madden, Won't Ever Delete His Texts

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, left, and general manager Ozzie Newsome, top right, talk with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, center, and former NFL coach John Madden, far right, during the NFL football team's training camp, Wednesday Aug. 4, 2010, in Westminster, Md.

John Madden was cherished by millions for many reasons.

Head Coach John Harbaugh issued a statement reflecting on his personal relationship with the Hall of Fame Coach, legendary broadcaster and namesake of one of the world's most popular video games, who passed away Tuesday at age 85.

"We offer our heartfelt condolences to the Madden family on the passing of the great and beloved John Madden," Harbaugh said. "I had the privilege along with a few other coaches, to work with and get to know Coach Madden on our NFL Coaches Committee, which we call The Madden Committee. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. We took on some of the issues in the NFL and football. We even tried to solve a few problems and better our great game. He was a tremendous leader. Coach loved football, and he loved the People of Football. I loved working and talking with him. I admired his passion and wisdom. Coach Madden cared deeply, and through it all, I grew to love him. It was the privilege of a lifetime.

Rest in Peace, Coach. God has you now."

Ravens players, including quarterback Lamar Jackson, also reacted to the news:

During Wednesday's press conference, Harbaugh said he kept every voicemail and text he received from Madden over the years.

"You don't erase a John Madden voicemail,' Harbaugh said "You don't do it. I never will. (I've) got his text messages, probably going to get them framed.

"A lot of the things we've done in terms of the way we approach the players, I've learned from him in terms of what's important, what you pursue and what really doesn't matter. He had a great feel and a great way of expressing that.

"This is, some might argue, the greatest coach. If you think of it in terms of a little more globally. Maybe a 40, 50, 60-year impact on generations of football fans."

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